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Man who died in La Plata County Jail is identified

Saul Hernandez, 21, of Pagosa Springs died of self-inflicted trauma
Saul Hernandez, an inmate at the La Plata County Jail, was found dead Sunday.

The Durango Police Department has identified a man who died by suicide last weekend in the La Plata County Jail.

Saul Hernandez, 21, of Pagosa Springs died of self-inflicted trauma around 5:35 p.m. Sunday at the jail, said Durango Police Department Cmdr. Jacob Dunlop.

La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith said Hernandez died of self-asphyxiation.

Hernandez, who was arrested Oct. 7, 2018, by Archuleta County law enforcement, was found in his cell; no signs of foul play were discovered, Dunlop said.

Archuleta County Sheriff Rich Valdez and La Plata County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Boudreau did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment about why Hernandez was in jail and his conduct while incarcerated.

La Plata County sheriff’s deputies were holding Hernandez in the La Plata County Jail on behalf of the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office. The Durango Police Department, which was called to investigate the death, did not have information readily available about why Hernandez was in custody.

The La Plata County Jail’s telephone-access record system indicated Hernandez was transfered to La Plata County Jail on two courtesy holds for Archuleta County. His bond for each charge was set at $3,000.


For help

Help for people having suicidal thoughts or for those who fear a person is considering killing himself can be found from these sources:

Axis Health System:

24-hour hotline at 247-5245.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

(800) 273-TALK (8255) or text “TALK” to 741741.

RED Nacional de Prevención Del Suicidio:

(888) 628-9454.

National Crisis text Hotline:


Fort Lewis College Counseling Center:


Boys Town Hotline:

(800) 448-3000.

Safe2Tell Colorado:

(877) 542-7233 or online at https://safe2tell.org.

Colorado Crisis Support Line:

(844) 493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255 or online at


to access a live chat available in 17 languages. The line has mental-health professionals available to talk to adults or youths about any crisis, 24 hours a day.

Trevor Project:

(866) 488-7386. Crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth via online chat, text or phone.

Second Wind Fund:

(720) 962-0706. This is not a crisis hotline, but the fund is available to youths who face social or financial barriers to crisis counseling. The organization requires a referral by a school counselor or mental-health professional.

Survivors Support Group:

Heartbeat of Durango meets from 6 to 8 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month at the Grief Center, 2243 Main Ave., second floor. For more information, call Janna at 749-1673.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

Colorado chapter information available at



For men:

A website for adult men contemplating suicide, who often are unwilling to seek help, is available at